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Turkmenistan, Mostly Desert, Buying Sand From U.K. For $1.3 Million


About four-fifths of Turkmenistan's territory consists of sandy deserts. (file photo)

Turkmenistan, a Central Asian country where sandy deserts account for 80 percent its territory, is prepared to pay 1 million pounds ($1,289,000) to British company Andrew Bowen Ltd. for 10,000 tons of sand that it wants to use for a new horse-racing track.

Simon Bowen of Andrew Bowen Ltd. told RFE/RL by phone on February 20 that, according to the deal reached with Turkmenistan, the company will deliver all necessary materials for the new track by April, including 10,000 tons of sand from the English county of Lancashire.

According to Bowen, sand is one of many components used for horse-racing tracks, including synthetic materials and wax.

Bowen told BBC earlier that the sand in Turkmenistan had the "wrong texture and shape," while "sand in Lancashire" is preferable for horse-racing tracks.

The news about buying sand from Britain comes amid Turkmenistan's move to cut spending due to economic difficulties.

With reporting by BBC
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